Chalkable (https://angel.co/chalkable) is a web application designed to serve as , in their words, “the frontend for your school.” It looks quite a bit like Canvas or Blackboard, only targeted to Middle & High School classrooms. It also provides a platform for app developers to create applications that integrate with Chalkable. App devs can sell their applications from within Chalkable and get a 70% cut of the sale.
The value proposition for students is the fact that a student can do their homework and get their grades online using the web. For the teachers it is the ability to grade all assignments in one place, manage attendance records, and connect students with valuable learning applications. Since the website lists the price per student ($10/year) I’m going to assume that the cost is quite a bit less than what a school district might expect to pay for using one of the heavyweights in the industry like Canvas or Blackboard.
According to their FAQ, Chalkable targets a wide audience–middle school teachers, staff, parents and students. By targeting such a wide audience, it is hard for Chalkable to create any kind of repeatable message that resonates with their most passionate users. Perhaps by limiting the scope of their initial market to something smaller (say teachers in small rural school districts) Chalkable could craft a more targeted message. While I’m not familiar with how such software gets purchased, I would imagine that in all but the smallest schools, it is the school district, or perhaps the school itself, that does the evaluation and purchasing and not the teacher. Perhaps Chalkable could address this second audience and tell them how their software is a win for the district or school.